Calling Taxis with mobile apps
A safe and popular way to order Taxi and avoid the hassle of making sure they properly used the metre is to order them through your smartphone. After registering, you can easily order a taxi as the app gets your location from the phone and shows on the map how many taxis are nearby. Once, a taxi is available it will tell how long it will take to reach and you can track the taxi on the map. You can read and give reviews of the taxi driver. It is also great way to get to know and talk to the drivers.
After Grab Taxi merged with Uber in 2018, Grab is now the only player on the block:
Google Play Link
Apple App Store
Grab now is the most popular transport service in Malaysia and has overtaken regular taxi use. Having said that taxis had a bad reputation in Malaysia to begin with so Grab was a welcomed alternative. However, you can can also use the Grab app to call regular taxi which sometimes can makes sense when there are not enough or no Grab cars around. But normally you would request a grab car, which are normally regular people earning bit of extra on side with their privat cars. So you can something meet interesting people and have a good chat. Using Grab has these advantage over calling and hailing a down a taxi:
- using the app to pintpoint your current location and your destination on the map
- getting information on the driver and later be able to rate the driver
- sharing a link to your friends and family so they can follow your ride
- getting the ride fee before the trip and not having to haggle about the price
- collecting points which each ride which can be redeemed later through diiscounts with Grab and some partners
- send the driver text messages through the app to inform them about how much luggage you have or any other requests
Categories of car:
regular car, sufficient for most rides
nicer and bigger car
in case you travel with more than 3 people and / or have a lot of luggage
Hence, first thing coming to Malaysia should be getting a local SIM card (with a data plan) and phone number and download the Grab App.
Request to use the meter
Of course, the are also good and honest taxi driver out there but unfortunately also a lot of black sheep. It is always best to go by meter but some won't turn them on unless you convince them otherwise. A short ride within the city centre shouldn't cost you more than RM5 to RM10 with the meter. So if you really can't find taxi that is willing to use the meter, don't pay more than RM15 for ride within the city center. Rides to KLIA or LCCT aiport from Kuala Lumpur are always charged with a fixed price (usually RM75 for a budget taxi from 6am until midnight).
The regular taxis in Malaysia had the "honour" to be rewarded as the worts taxi drivers in the world in 2012 by the website londoncabs.co.uk! Congratulations...
Budget Taxis versus Executive Taxis
In Kuala Lumpur there are 2 types of Taxis:
Budget taxis are normally red and white in color.
Rates: RM3 (first 1km), RM0.10 each consequent 115m
The fleet of the blue Executive Taxis seems to be a good alternative to the red/white regular taxi for rides within the city center. The blue taxis have slightly higher rates but are newer cars and always use the meter.
Rates: RM6 (first 1km), RM0.20 each consequent 150m
Hotline: +6012.251.7515Blog KL Executive Taxi Service
Taxi Coupon Counters
Some main arrival points and attractions offer taxi counters, where you purchase a fixed price coupon for a taxi ride. When you arrive at KLIA make sure you go to the official taxi counter to prevent being ripped off (about RM75 for a ride to the city center with a budget taxi). Same applies to the KL Sentral railway station (RM13 to hotels in the city center).
inside an old Proton Saga Taxi in KL, still the most common budget taxi in Malaysia
Taxi Fares for Budget Taxis in Peninsular Malaysia
sign of taxi charges on a taxi in Kuala Lumpur in February 2014
for the first km: RM3.00
for every susequent 115 metre: RM0.10
for the first 3 minutes: RM3.00
for every subsequent 21 seconds: RM0.10
Fares based on time will be calculated when taxi moves below 20km/h
Additional charges for hiring through phone: RM2.00
Surcharge afer Midnight (12midnight to 6am): 50% extra to the metered fare
Highway toll charges paid by passenger
to KLIA / LCCT airport: extra RM12
to Penang Airport: extra RM7
Complaint Number: 1-800-88-9600
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pasar malam stall: Nasi Ayam